Story & Photo – Joseph Boyle
Keila Pritchard, 4th from the left (photo below), was only 16 years old when I met him at the Towne Center Starbucks. I was shocked to learn he was 16. Keila always looked and acted with great maturity, beyond his years. Keila is a Running Start student at Clover Park High School and Pierce College. He will earn two years of college when he graduates from high school.
Congressman Denny Heck recently nominated Keila for an appointment to attend West Point Military Academy. Starbucks customers are all hovering at the coffee shop waiting for Keila to receive word that he has been accepted. Regardless of West Point’s decision, this young man will go places in life. He uses his intelligence wisely. He is hard working. The term industrious fits him perfectly. His human relations skills are superb. On top of that, he plays the Ukulele. Even though I am an old guy and Keila is a young guy, I am proud to count him as my friend.
Several months past before I learned that Towne Center Starbucks barista Dani was Keila’s sister. I knew Dani at Starbucks, but was not aware she was Keila’s sister.
What could possibly top that? The brother – sister angle was not even half the story. Keila and Dani are only two of 11 brothers and sisters in the Pritchard family.
The Pritchard family is a nucleus of individuals who do not sit around waiting for something to happen. They get up early and head out the door each day to accomplish something worth while, whether it is school, work or both.
Of the 11 kids in the family, 7 are old enough to work at Starbucks. Of the 7 who are old enough, 6 captured jobs as Starbucks baristas.
Here is a run down on the Starbucks Half Dozen.
Alyse earned her undergraduate degree from University of Southern California. Additionally, she is obtaining a double Masters Degree in Family Practice Nursing and Midwifery. Alyse was the first member of the Pritchard family to work for Starbucks. The rest of the family followed in her apron strings. She started in 2004 in Palm Desert, California. She also worked for Starbucks in Honolulu, Hawaii and Menlo Park, California.
Krista is majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Krista worked at the Towne Center Starbucks and the Tacoma Place Starbucks in Pierce County. She also just finished working at a Starbucks in Nashville, Tennessee.
Tana, who was a Running Start student in high school, earned a full football scholarship with Washington State University. He is working towards a General Studies Degree. He worked at the Steilacoom Boulevard Starbucks in Lakewood, Washington.
Keila works at the Towne Center Starbucks in Lakewood, Washington.
Dani is a licensed cosmetologist and is working towards her Associates Degree at Clover Park Technical College. Dani works at the Towne Center Starbucks in Lakewood, Washington.
Jordan graduated from Washington State University with a major in Comparative Ethnic Studies. The essence of her major relates to how different cultures can work together in the workplace or business. Jordan worked in the Towne Center Starbucks in Lakewood, Washington.
We have four more Pritchards ranging in age from 11 to 14, but they are too young to work. It may not be long before they join the Starbucks Half Dozen. I wonder if the Guinness Book of Records would like to include the Starbucks Half Dozen in their book?
I am especially thankful to have such a wonderful family in our community after having worked 1,200 cases as a Juvenile Criminal Investigations Officer. My cases involved troubled youth making poor judgements in all areas of life. If only we could bottle up the Prichard Factor and dispense it to the troubled youth and families in our community.
I naturally began to wonder who are these super parents of 11 positive successful young people? David and Kelli Pritchard, please stand and take a bow. What marvelous parents you have proven to be, not only to your own 11 children, but to the many children that you have taken into your home. I learned that the Pritchards have provided a home and loving supportive family environment to at least 20 young homeless people over the years taking some all the way through high school and college.
David, Kelli and I met at Starbucks. Kelli wanted to share a strong feeling with me and I quote, “We are thankful to the Starbucks Corporation for helping us shape and grow our children with the character qualities that we believe are important in raising successful, people who give back to their world.”
David and Kelli both play a national role in an organization known as Young Life. They are family enrichment specialists and operate Prichard Ministries. They have written a book, Going Public, Your Child Can Thrive in Public School. The Pritchards give presentations all over the country to auditoriums full of parents, husbands and wives wanting to learn how to be more successful as a family. Learn more at www.prichardministeries.com.
The Pritchards are a family force for good. I sense the Prichard Ministries has bottled the Prichard Factor. I can tell you this; I never met a Pritchard I did not like.